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Thread: What needs to be backed up for disaster recovery?

  1. #1
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    Default What needs to be backed up for disaster recovery?

    This morning's outage due to a failed upgrade reminded me that I need to ensure that Zimbra is being backed up properly for our site.

    I've looked at all of the wiki articles and forum posts about backups, but none of them really say what you need.

    If you were backing up the open source version of Zimbra on your own, what would you need to backup? I'm running 7.1.3_GA_3346.RHEL5_64-20110928134520.

    Here's what I backup now:

    1. Individual accounts via REST
    2. Main LDAP database via slapcat
    3. Config LDAP database via slapcat
    4. /opt/zimbra/conf, just a tarball

    My goal is to be able to put up a new Zimbra server in a pinch without anyone realizing that it's a different machine.

    Granted, not everything will be there (like the zimlets), but I know which ones to install based on the LDAP dump.

    So... What am I missing?

    Thanks,

    Chris

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    Actually your backup is a Mess and you didnt Read all the Articles otherwise youve read mine.

    In fact you dont have a backup.
    The Individual via Rest wont restore properply - theres a bug with restoring via rest

    The ldap backup wont help you - you need the store and mysql database then too.

    The only way to have a real backup is a full cold backup.
    Cold means not running zimbra.

    You can also spare the individual restbackup if you frequently mirror your backup - its very easy to bring up a backuped version of your server on a virtual machine in case you need to restore individual account data - but of course as you like it

    Do NOT TRY to backup mysql/ldap and data while running seperatly - you gonna have a massive inconsist system after

    so only way is shutdown zimbra do the backup restart.


    there are several tricks to minimize the downtime - you ma ylook at my post at http://www.zimbra.com/forums/adminis...idth-link.html

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bofh View Post
    The Individual via Rest wont restore properply - theres a bug with restoring via rest
    Could you give more information about the bug?

    I've restored a few mailboxes this way and wonder if something didn't get restored that we missed.

    The ldap backup wont help you - you need the store and mysql database then too.
    This is only if the REST restore isn't working, right? Otherwise when you provision the new users and then import their mail, the databases and stores will be created from scratch?

    Chris
    Last edited by lindsey; 12-06-2011 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Added question about MySQL dumpage

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    Man i thought i made it clear.

    the only real way is todo a cold backup.
    zimbra stores on ldap - on mysql - and on the filesystem
    thats why you canīt do an easy cluster with it - even with replicationg mysql and ldap and mirrored filesystem this doenst work (you need to mirror the redologs)

    so i strongly suggest not to try such a partly backup

    about the rest bug - someone ment that tomcat messes up streams after a while - anyway its confirmed you cannot backup and restore big mailboxes with rest

    i had htis problem frequently while migration process - plan was to creat parallel accounts todo the outlook import work and then add the imported to the running accounts with rest

    turns out you gonna loose mails with that - simply try it out
    take a 2 gig mailbox make a rest download and restore it to an test mailbox - then count mailcount and size on both boxes

    so really - no matter how make a cold backup
    as described you can make a hot prebackup to reduce the amount of data needs backing up

    at the end if system crashed totally you method takes a way longer to restore and bring it backup, its way more complicated and got a lot of risk involed of data inconsistence

    easiest way is todo a double rsync (thers a script out there) it mirrors a hot prebackup on the same system - then do the cold backup (minimum downtime) then rsync the mirrored data to an offsite server

    every other method of an hotbackup wont go easy..


    btw theres some discussions for a long time because of the aweful method zimbras stores data - as said bevore - it a big thing of cluster - thats why theres an extra backupmethod implemented in networkedition which had a lot of bugfixes recently -
    in short it isnt that easy to backup zimbra hot / or cluster it - in other words dont try this at home

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bofh View Post
    Man i thought i made it clear.

    the only real way is todo a cold backup.
    zimbra stores on ldap - on mysql - and on the filesystem
    thats why you canīt do an easy cluster with it - even with replicationg mysql and ldap and mirrored filesystem this doenst work (you need to mirror the redologs)
    Can you explain why? As far as I can tell, MySQL stores nothing but the message store data and some basic user data, with the latter also available in the LDAP database. If the new user is created with the same zimbraId (from the LDAP dump) then things should be pretty seamless.

    about the rest bug - someone ment that tomcat messes up streams after a while - anyway its confirmed you cannot backup and restore big mailboxes with rest
    I wonder if they fixed it. I tried things out on 7.1.3 tonight and was able to restore a 21GB mailbox without any problems. I did increase the timeouts and filesize limits, though.

    take a 2 gig mailbox make a rest download and restore it to an test mailbox - then count mailcount and size on both boxes
    I ended up with the same number of messages, calendar events, etc. after a dump/restore via REST on a test 5GB mailbox and a 21GB mailbox.

    I'm not too concerned about the replay -- all emails pass through a relay server that archives everything so that it can be redelivered from the point of failure. Worst case is that some calendar data gets lost.

    But in all honesty, I don't really want to discuss what the best method is to do a backup. I want to know what parts need to be backed up. Your answer seems to be 'everything', but I know that it can be restored from less than that.

    If nobody knows what specific portions are needed, I'll just start messing with it on a fresh VM and see how far I get. I'll report my findings back here.

    Thanks,

    Chris

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